One-Sided Multiculturalism: A Byproduct of the Left's Love Affair with Islam
As coverage of the recent bloodshed in Paris got underway, it became glaringly evident that a predictable narrative was being re-established amongst the far-left media outlets of The New York Times, MSNBC, and CNN. True to form, they examined this act of Islamic terrorism from a number of different vantage points – disenfranchised youth, the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, and U.S. intervention in the Middle East – quick to remind their audience that Islam is a “religion of peace” and that these acts do not represent the sentiment of most law-abiding Muslims
This is certainly a fair and valid point; however, it has been proven time and time again to lack intellectual substance when one considers the range of terror attacks throughout the international community that have specifically targeted civilians.
- 1993 World Trade Center bombing (6 killed) – New York, New York
- 2001 World Trade Center, Pentagon (2,996) – New York, New York
- 2002 nightclub bombing (202) – Bali, Indonesia
- 2004 train bombings (191) – Madrid, Spain
- 2005 train bombings (52) – London, England
- 2006 train bombings (209) – Mumbai, India
- 2008 multiple shooting/bombing attacks (164) – Mumbai, India
- 2013 shopping mall attack (67) – Nairobi, Kenya
- 2015 village razed (2,000) – Baga, Nigeria
- 2015 Charlie Hedbo attack (17) – Paris, France
The numbers are sobering. Each attack illustrates a pattern of violence that has become consistent over the past two decades. So how did we get to a point in which President Obama referred to the carnage in Paris as “senseless violence”? Perhaps he could have gone a step farther and simply referred to the murders as “workplace violence” – which is how he described to the 2009 massacre at Fort Hood. His words are misleading and exemplify a peculiar social narrative within Western society that makes a calculated effort to tiptoe around Islamic fascism. If and when one makes an inquiry regarding Islam and the pattern of violence that has come to define the religion, the term “Islamaphobia” is used to denigrate the inquiring mind. Why is there such a reluctance to speak openly and honestly about the second largest religion in the world?
As the Muslim population continues to grow, particularly within Europe, such a dialogue needs to be established. Unfortunately, it will not come easily, as evidenced by Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent comments that he will be referring to the Islamic State as its Arabic acronym Daesh: “Daesh claims to be fighting for Islam but its actions are an insult to Islam.” The French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, further exemplified the Orwellian nature of this play on words when he stated, “I do not recommend using the term Islamic State because it blurs the lines between Islam, Muslims, and Islamists.” Therein lies the problem – the true nature of this conflict doesn’t fit into the left’s neatly constructed worldview. Despite the fact that the Islamic State, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, and al-Nusra Front are incredibly explicit regarding the religious nature of their ideology.
According to a recent study conducted by the Pew Research Center, a significant percentage of Muslims responded favorably when asked if “suicide bombings can be justified against civilian targets in order to defend Islam from its enemies[.]” Unquestionably, there are varying cultural/geographic perspectives on the matter; yet research indicates that a significant percentage of Muslims within the Palestinian territories (46%), Lebanon (29%), and Egypt (24%) share a considerably favorable view of this crime. Moreover, international intelligence agencies, including the Central Intelligence Agency, estimate the percentage of radicalized Muslims throughout the international community to be anywhere from 15% to 25%. This is a staggering number, considering that approximately 1.6 billion people identify themselves as Muslim.
For an open and honest dialogue to occur within the West, specifically within Europe, one must come to terms with the geopolitical atmosphere of today. Secularization is a remnant of the French Revolution and has come to define modern European culture. A considerable number of Europeans have shunned the Judeo-Christian values of their past in favor of a hyper-liberalized, secular mindset. The problem that has emerged in recent decades is that their current worldview does not coincide with the influx of Muslim immigrants from across the Middle East and North Africa that are making their way into Europe. Their very existence is defined by religion and a hyper-conservative worldview. In essence, Europeans without a clear identity are attempting to absorb immigrants with a distinct identity. Within such a fragmented social framework, conflict is inevitable.
This fragmented social framework is epitomized by the left’s tendency to denigrate the value of religion, particularly Christianity. Incidentally, distinctions are made, and many vociferously defend Islam – a religion that stands in direct opposition to the values that define the liberal democracies of the West? It should be noted that homosexual men are beheaded within Saudi Arabia on a regular basis. And it’s rather hard to believe that the left would remain silent, as they currently are regarding this matter, if roles were reversed and Pope Francis oversaw the beheadings of homosexuals in Vatican City in an attempt to defend the purity of Catholicism.
This social framework becomes even more muddled when we factor in the growing influence of Wahhabism – the absolute and puritanical branch of Islam that Saudi Arabia is exporting to the world. The Islamic State, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, and al-Nusra Front adhere to this extreme ideological branch of Islam. Wahhabis do not place value on the basic tenets of liberal democracy and adhere to a rigid worldview based on violent jihad and the fulfillment of a caliphate. A non-believer is simply a hurdle to be overcome if they are to achieve their goal of establishing Islam as the pure and universal religion it is meant to be.
The rise of the Islamic State, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, and al-Nusra Front exemplifies the severity of the threat now facing Western society. Ghastly acts of terrorism have become the norm, and apologists have run amuck. Consequently, the “silent majority” can no longer remain marginalized and afraid to denounce these social ills. Political correctness must be viewed for what it is – a relic of the past. It is now a contributing factor to the atmosphere that has emboldened these terror organizations. Perhaps there is some validity to the left’s argument that the jihadists waging war on Western society are simply a “few bad apples.” Nevertheless, it is this violent, radicalized mentality driving the agenda within the Muslim community. Societal norms need to shift, and a re-enlightenment must occur within Western society – one in which we acknowledge the clear and imminent threat that militant Islam presents. It is a threat that shows no sign of retreat – and by all indications will intensify throughout the international community.
Owen McCormack is a teacher within the New York City Department of Education. He holds a Master of Arts degree in history from the City College of New York and a Master of Science degree in special education from the College of Staten Island. He enjoys analyzing the complexities of today’s social and political issues through a religious/historical prism. His writing has been featured in TRUTH-OUT.org & Disinformation.com.